Lincoln’s Public Safety Director urges people to safely store firearms

Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

The Lincoln community is taking action to reduce the number of suicides in the city.

Over the past five years, we’ve seen some upticks with the biggest increase in 2014 when 44 people took their own lives in Lincoln.

The most common method of suicide here and nationally is by firearms.

That’s why our public safety director, Tom Casady, is encouraging people to lock up or remove their guns.

He said limiting access is crucial.

"If you can get the person in crisis through that impulsive period, which may only be a few minutes, there’s a chance you can save a life,” Lincoln Public Safety Director Tom Casady said.

Lincoln also saw its greatest number of attempted suicides last year compared to the last 20 years.

Health professionals said people often shy away from the topic of suicide and mental health.

They said awareness and intervention are keys for prevention.

"The best thing individuals can do is talk about suicide. Bring it out in the open and talk about it and not to take it lightly,” Bryan Health Mental Health Services Manager David Miers, Ph.D., said.

The Lincoln–Lancaster County suicide prevention coalition has recently put up hundreds of these signs in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s parking garages.

It said you will see more of them soon.

The coalition wants to remind people there’s help available.

"That stops them for a second and they see that and are like gosh there’s hope and there’s help. There’s some resources I can call and get connected to,” Miers said.

Here are some more suicide prevention resources:

National Suicide prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

CenterPointe Crisis Response: 402-475-6695

Bryan Health Suicide Education and  Prevention